Birth plans are something that as a first time mum, you are probably quite fixated on. It is a way to plan out how your birth will go, what to expect and certain things you want to happen. As a second time mum, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll actually bother to do one!
I have read many accounts of mums to be who decided not to write a birth plan second time round because their first birth didn’t follow the “plan” at all. With all the knowledge of how labour can vary, many women feel it’s a waste of time writing out a plan as baby is not going to follow it!
If you’ve read my first birth story, you’ll know that my birth plan could not have gone any more differently! My drug free, all natural, water birth at the midwife-led maternity unit surrounded by just my husband and one midwife listening to calming music in a dimmed room turned in to an induced at hospital labour, surrounded by my husband, about 4 different midwives plus 3 other women in various stages of labour, strapped to a bed on a monitor, lasting 3 days and resulting in an emergency c-section using a spinal block.
So really, my labour could not have been any more different to my birth plan. It may come as a surprise then that I’m still going to write one this time round. Why? A number of reasons really”
- To give myself something to focus on and still feel like I’m at least a little bit in control
- To try and ensure that I can still have certain things even though I’m having an elective caesarean
- So my husband knows what I want if I’m not able to express my wishes myself
- It is still MY labour and I deserve to have a say as to how it will go
So, here we are, my birth plan for an elective caesarean:
- I would like my husband to be with me throughout the process, although I understand there may be certain times when he can’t (when I’m having the spinal block)
- I would like the drapes slightly lowered when my baby is being lifted out so I can see him being born
- I would like immediate skin to skin. If I cannot do this, I would like my husband to do this
- I would like to hold my baby whilst I am being stitched up if I am well enough
- If my baby needs to be taken away from theatre, I would like my husband to be with him at all times and I would like to be kept updated with what is happening
- I would like delayed cord clamping if possible
- I would like to use a cord tie instead of a plastic clamp
- I would like to see my placenta
- I would like my husband to cut the cord
- I would like photos to be taken in theatre, including of the baby being lifted out if possible
- I would like to breastfeed as soon as possible
- I do not want my baby to have any formula without my express agreement
A birth plan doesn’t have to be long and detailed. I’m not planning my labour down to the minute, but it helps me to feel less anxious knowing that I can request certain things and that I will have some control over what happens in the theatre room. The ultimate goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mum, and I will be a lot less bothered this time if things don’t go to “plan”. The most important thing is that my husband is there and my baby is never left alone.
I hope that I get the things I have asked for, and that anyone reading this feels like they can still have a plan if they wish, even if you’ve been told it’s a waste of time. If it’s important to you, then it’s never a waste of time.